Flowers have always played a big role in romance. From the Victorians using bouquets to convey romantic messages to the Hollywood fantasy of receiving a huge arrangement of blossoms at work, nothing says love like an arrangement of fragrant flowers.
With Valentine's Day on its way, flowers will be given and received with abandon. So how do you ensure those gorgeous blooms will stay fresh for as long as possible?
Genevieve Bismonte, head florist at Quince Flowers in Toronto, gives us some tips for keeping flowers fresh:
Choose long-lasting blooms
Choosing the right flowers can mean the difference between a wilted arrangement and one that lasts for weeks. Bismonte recommends tropicals as they usually last longer that other cut flowers. "Orchids are some of the longest lasting flowers; they tend to be more expensive, but you're paying for their longevity as well as their beauty," she says. "Anything that looks almost plastic and really fleshy like orchids, tend to last long."
Trim the ends
"It definitely helps to re-cut all of your stems, in case the ends have dried out,” says Bismonte. “And always cut stems on an angle; it enlarges the surface area that the flowers can drink from." Be sure to use a sharp knife or scissors when cutting stems.
Stripping stems of leaves before arranging is another important step to ensure your flowers last as long as possible. "The less leaves and other things there are on the stem, the lower the risk of accumulating bacteria in the water,” says Bismonte. “If there are some leaves underwater, they'll start to decay and make your water dirty." While the choice of vase is entirely aesthetic, be sure to fill it with tepid water for the best results.